Probit analysis of Upper Pleistocene hominids

  • Finkel D
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Abstract

Probit analysis allows the testing of the normality of a sample population where curve fitting and differential weighting occur simultaneously. Probit analysis may be utilized with small samples, and is ideal for use in the study of fossil populations. It is assumed that population which are normally distributed are likely to be in genetic equilibrium, so that graphic and computational probit analysis may be used to discern the effects of evolutionary forces on human populations. Probit analysis of cranial length in a sequence of Athenian population is presented in order to verify its sensitivity to these evolutionary forces. Probit analysis and other tests of homogeneity are applied to similar variables of Upper Pleistocene European Neandertal and modern man. Despite significant differences between variable means of Neandertal and modern man, probit analyses of their combined populations showed no less deviation from normality than either group separately. This suggests that the evolutionary changes in the cranium from the Neandertal stage to the modern stage of man were effected without significantly disrupting the genetic equilibrium of these populations, i.e. that rapid changes in these populations are unlikely to have occurred. © 1979.

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Authors

  • D.J. Finkel

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